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Complete with a dome camera

The crystallography lecture hall in the Natural Sciences Campus has been completely renovated and given a total facelift

Freiburg, Oct 05, 2017

Complete with a dome camera

Photo: Oliver Kern

Spanning from a new ventilation system to a modern media system: The renovations cost about 980,000 euros that allow for modern instruction in the crystallography wing.

Photos: Oliver Kern

The word “Hörsaal” (lecture hall) is imprinted in big letters on the classicist-style pediment entryways flanked by a column on either side on the Natural Sciences Campus at the University of Freiburg. The crystallography wing on the ground floor really encompasses only the lecture hall itself and its entrance along with the technology rooms that are behind the paneled wall. In its breadth the hall fills the entire wing for which the Institute of Forest Sciences has first dibs.

The oldest building on the Natural Sciences Campus

A lot of light can now flood to the left and right of the seats thanks to both rows of tall windows in the hall that will return to its purpose on October 4, 2017 after thorough renovations. The building built in 1900 and under historic preservation is the oldest on the Natural Sciences Campus – and the only one that has maintained its earlier character. Its classicist architectural exterior stands in sharp contrast to the structure’s modernized interior. After the outer shell including the walls, roof and façade were renovated in 2009, continued improvements were made to the building’s interior décor along with a vast improvement in its technology.

Nearly every bit of the lecture hall and neighboring rooms is brand new. It wasn’t only the hall that got new seats; the new floor made of light varnished oak optically complements the front wall surface lined with wood where a new panel is located, movable with the push of a button.  The folded wooden ceiling was removed so that the historic arch-formed joists are in full view again. The modern lighting system now provides well-distributed lighting throughout the hall. The windows were also reworked with new glass panes and modern darkening curtains. The heating system is also new. The cost of the entire renovation was about 980,000 euros.

150,000 euros alone – including the engineers’ work – went to the new fully automated ventilation system in the area behind the paneling. It can be controlled remotely by the technical maintenance management team (TGM) at the University. Room sensors measure the temperature, humidity and oxygen and regulate the range using external air induction and air exchange.  The floor covering in the hallway was also reworked, improved and added where necessary. In addition, a second emergency exit was created. Lastly, the seminar room above the lecture hall was also renovated with a new floor covering, new lighting and a fire protection ceiling.  

The latest and greatest media system

It may have not been the most expensive, but it was one of the most significant improvements: the installation of the new media system cost 80,000 euros. What can it do? “Everything that is possible and necessary in this day and age,” says Roger Gerber, architect in the Office of Property and Construction Baden-Württemberg, Freiburg. Markus Vorgrimler from IT services at the University explains some of the technical functions and details: The aging beamer was replaced with a more modern version. Instead of having just two wireless microphones, the room now has three plus a hand-held one. Recording via the dome camera can be controlled digitally by a display on the lectern. The speaker can project images and play audios from DVDs or blue-ray discs on the paneled wall or directly from his or her laptop via a HDMI connection. The projected material can be transferred to any location in the building at the same time.

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The media system’s user interface is identical to that of other university systems so that valuable time is not wasted fiddling with the technical side of things.

Hans-Dieter Fronz